Club Marine Trailer Trips - Surtees 540 Workmate

Club Marine contributor John Willis tests the new Surtees 540 Workmate Hardtop in Eden, NSW. This model is powered by an 80HP Honda outboard and fitted with all the features Surtees are known for including a flooding keel, wide gunwales. John reckons the colour and hardtop are a hit!
John Willis: It's a beautiful place and it's a beautiful boat. Have a look at this. This is the brand new Surtees 540 Workmate Hardtop. And you know what? I really like it. It's a great little unit.

It's got all of those traditional Surtees functions about them. It's got the flooding keel, which increases stability and gives you some weight on the water if you want to lock it in, with the gate at the back to trap the water. It's got the under floor cool tank. This one has actually got the new transom design as well, which has got the little gate that comes up and down, and increases your gunnel height if you're fighting a fish in a big sea. That you've still got a fully plumbed live bait tank back there as well. The layout is all Surtees. There's no doubt about it.

From the bow, good bow rail, great little anchoring set up. The hardtop I've spoken about, I just love it. Everybody loves the function of a hardtop, particularly when you're in a sea, but it doesn't matter whether you're in the heat or whether you're in the cold, gives you all that protection, they're just great.

Great simple little dashboard, but plenty of room for all your instruments. Dashboard mounted Garmin, sounder and GPS combination does the job fine. Plenty of room in the cabin, we have actually got the Icey Tech ice box in there at the moment and we've still got plenty of room for a lot of gear. Bolster seat on the driver's side and a fold up seat on the passenger side makes so much sense because it gives you all this deck room. And speaking of deck room, look at all this lovely surfacing here. It's a non-skid surface all the way through, obviously optional, but it really just makes a house a home. You got that great Surtees chopping board, all your batteries, all your electrical and plumbing equipment are all undercover and enclosed in the compartment at the back. Plenty of storage, plenty of side pockets. You've got those great little platforms at the back, the dive platforms. The ripper little 80 horsepower Honda outboard, and all of that with what a beautiful looking hull, I love that color.

How goods this, what a beautiful afternoon, in a beautiful little boat.

It scoots along really well with the 80 horsepower but I've gotta say, if you were going to carry a lot of weight, or three people on board, I'd be stepping up a little bit.

Until recently, Surtees boats amongst others used to have a deck fill for the fuel tank. Worked very, very well, I was quite happy with it, but unfortunately, I don't believe it's legal anymore in a lot of places, so what we've done now is taken the fuel filler all the way out to the side here, so when you pull up at the bowser, it's just straight into the boat. This has been John Willis for Club Marine TV, having a ball.